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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  May 19, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, then on the collins amendment, number 3970, 87 votes aye, 9 nay. the amendment is carried. ms. collins: move to lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. there are now four minutes of debate -- ms. collins:? a senator: mr. president, the senate is not in order. a senator: the senator deserves to be -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. there will now be four mustn'ts of debate prior to resolution
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number -- in relation to a vote on amendment number 3897. ms. collins: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the votes follow -- the subsequent votes in the series be ten minutes in length. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: mr. president, unlike the collins amendment, which has just passed with broad support, my amendment would actually do something, would actually do something with respect to the affirmatively furthering fair housing rule. specifically, it would defund this rule and ultimately force the department of housing and urban development to respond to the g.a.o. in a way that does not undermine local control or increase costs on already stretched thin local housing agencies. my colleagues who oppose this amendment have give an number of examples of local governments using newly connected --
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connected to make better governing decisions. but my amendment in no way stops local governments from continuing to do that. all my amendment does -- the only thing it does -- is to prevent the federal government from forcing local governments to comply with a costly and unnecessary new data collection program, and it does so in order to protect local autonomy. i, therefore, encourage each of my colleagues to support this amendment. ms. collins: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator maine. ms. collins: mr. president, the amendment offered by my colleague, senator lee, would prohibit all funding for a fair housing regulation issued by h.u.d. based on a requirement of a landmark civil rights law, the fair housing act of 1968. not only was this not a regulation that appeared out of thin air, the g.a.o. did a
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report criticizing h.u.d. and once the regulation was implemented, closed the recommendation. in addition, communities asked h.u.d. to issue better guidance on this part of the law so that they could avoid being sued under the fair housing act of 1968. this amendment is opposed by -- thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i move to table the lee amendment and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. the question is on the motion to table. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: any senator wish to vote or change his or her vote? if not, the motion to table the amendment number 3897 is tabled.
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60 in favor, 37 opposed. ms. collins: mr. president, may i have order, please. the presiding officer: order in the chamber, please. ms. collins: i ask unanimous consent that the following amendments be called up en bloc and reported by number: an amendment by senator rubio numbered 4050, an amendment by senator baldwin as modified 4026. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report the amendments by number. the clerk: the senator from maine ms. collins proposes 4050 and 4026 as modified. ms. collins: i ask unanimous consent that the is not now vote on these amendments en bloc. the presiding officer: is there objection?
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without objection. ms. collins: i know of no further debate on these amendments. the presiding officer: if there's no further debate on the amendments, the question is on the amendments en bloc. all those in favor signify by saying aye. opposed say no. ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendments are agreed to en bloc. ms. collins: mr. president, i yield back the remaining time so that we can proceed to final -- the presiding officer: under the previous order, all postcloture time is expired. the substitute amendment as amended is agreed to, the cloture motion on the underlying bill is withdrawn and the clerk will read the bill for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 138, h.r. 2577, an act making appropriations for the departments of transportation and housing and urban development and related agencies
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for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2016, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the question occurs on the passage of the bill as amended. ms. collins: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 89. nays are 8. the bill as amended passes. ms. collins: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: mr. president, before i make some closing remarks, i would like to yield
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to senator reed, who has been such an extraordinary partner as we've worked together in a transparent and collaborative way to bring this bill across the finish line. mr. reed: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: the senator from maine has extraordinary insight, leadership, the ability to bring us together. this bill real tphrebgts the priorities of -- reflects the priorities of both sides of the aisle, reflects sound policy. it was a pleasure to work with her, but also i think -- and she will also commend an extraordinary staff that provided support, working many times when we were not working, to get the job done. i want to thank daphne hague,
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nathan robinson, lydia collins and gus mayple, professional and deserving of the real praise for the work done on the floor. with that let me once again thank senator collins for her thoughtful leadership, her commitment to fairness, to principle. that i think is one of the major reasons why we're here today. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. ms. collins: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: mr. president, the senate has completed its consideration of this appropriations measure which provides essential funding for the department of transportation, the department of housing and urban development, related agencies, military construction programs,
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the veterans affairs administration, and to combat zika. i would like to thank all of my colleagues for working together with us in an open and collaborative manner. i would note that the legislation that we just passed incorporates some 40 amendments. there were also recommendations from more than 75 senators from both sides of the aisle that were included in the transportation-h.u.d. appropriations portion of this bill which were incorporated at the committee level. and i thank all of my colleagues for giving us thaeurl -- their suggestions, their requests, their insights. it made for a better bill.
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as i mentioned, i'm particularly grateful to senator jack reed, the ranking member of the transportation-h.u.d. subcommittee, for his work. i also want to thank the staff for their diligence and commitment throughout this process. as senator reed mentioned, we worked extremely hard, but our staff worked even harder. so i want to thank heidi shomaradi, roger matter, jason woline, gus maples, daphne hague, nathan robinson, christina monroe, jordan stone and mike clark on the subcommittee staff. i also want to give special thanks to the floor staff and the cloakroom staffs who worked so hard. without the help of laura dove and her team and the team on the
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democratic side, we could not be where we are today. they did a lot of the vetting that needed to be done on various amendments. they helped us in the negotiations and the compromises that ultimately were included in this bill. i would note that our transportation-h.u.d. portion of this bill recognizes fiscal reality while making critical investments into our crumbling infrastructure and the economic development projects. it meets our responsibility to vulnerable populations. i think most of our colleagues are unaware that 84% of h.u.d.'s budget goes to subsidized housing. and when we fund that, we keep
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very vulnerable low-income families, disabled individuals, our low-income seniors from being at risk of homelessness. we also pay special attention in this bill to vulnerable homeless populations such as our veterans and our young people. we continued a program that the administration wanted to abolish that helps our homeless veterans to whom we owe so much. $57 million in new vouchers so that we can continue the progress we're making in housing our homeless veterans. since we started this program, the number of homeless veterans has declined by about a third. this program works, but you can't declare victory until the
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job is done. and that's why both last year and this year we funded the program even though the president's budget sought to eliminate it. we've made real investments in helping some of our most vulnerable young people, and those are youth who have been in the foster care program and then age out of that program. in some cases their -- they're aging out of the program before they've even graduated from haol, -- from high school and they have nowhere to go. through family reunification vouchers and other programs, we're beefing up the support so that they don't fall through the cracks and become vulnerable to
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traffickers, to dropping out of school, to couch surfing or ending up in shelters. i'm very proud in particular of the work that we've done in that area. i'm very pleased that this bill funds the tiger grant program at $525 million. this program has been extraordinarily popular and effective. it's funded projects in each and every state, projects that have led to job creation and economic development. when you think about it, mr. president, at heart much in this bill is about creating jobs and security for our fellow
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citizens. if you don't have a place to live, it is very difficult to show up for work every day. if the infrastructure is crumbling, it is very difficult for a business to hire the employees that produce the products and to get those products to market. the construction projects that this bill will fund create good-paying jobs. so in many ways i think of this as a jobs bill. let me give you another example, a very popular program, the community development block grant program. if you ask of the mayors and other town and city officials in your state, they will point to
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that program as one that gives them the flexibility to improve their downtowns, to make investments that bring new employers to the region, to build affordable housing. whatever their needs are, and that's the beauty of that program. it's not dictated from washington. it gives tremendous flexibility to states and to communities to design the kinds of economic development programs that boost growth and create jobs. in short, mr. president, our bill strikes the right balance between thoughtful investment and fiscal restraint, and thereby sets the stage for
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future economic growth, something that i know the presiding officer has been a real leader until speaking out about and reminding us that that must be our focus as members of the senate. i am also pleased that we were able to bring spending bills to the floor for members to examine, debate, and vote on in a transparent manner. the worst situation is when we do a series of continuing resolutions, temporarily funding the essential functions of government. they create such uncertainty, they lock in priorities from previous years rather than reflecting today's priorities. and they end up costing more
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money. agencies are unable to enter into contracts. businesses, because of the uncertainty, tend to build in a little extra into their bids. it is a terrible way to operate. and equally bad is the practice of bundling all 12 of the appropriations bills into one gigantic omnibus bill, thousands of pages long that is rushed through at the end of the fiscal year or more often at the expiration of one of those continuing resolutions that i just deplore. we're not doing that this year. this is the third appropriations bill that the senate has passed
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earlier than ever, with great cooperation from both sides of the aisle and the members of the appropriations committee and its two leaders, senator cochran and senator mikulski, deserve great credit for putting us on a strict schedule and keeping the process moving. in fact, just said in the full committee, we approved two more appropriations bills that are ready to come to the senate floor. that's the way the process used to work. that's the way the process should work, and that's the way the process is working this year. and i believe it's a great credit to the senate, to the leaders of the appropriations committee and to majority leader mcconnell who has made it a goal that all 12 bills be
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reported by the appropriations committee and brought to the senate floor, individually or just two or three combined for full and open debate. so again, i want to thank members on both sides of the aisle. many of your requests are included in this important legislation. i feel fortunate to have worked with senator jack reed on this bill. he is not only a great colleague, a terrific senator but also a good friend. thank you, mr. president. mr. president, on another matter, i have eight unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of both the majority and the minority
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leader. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and that the requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. i would yield the floor and seeing no one seeking recognition, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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